Morocco Deserts & Beaches

Morocco · About Escorted or Guided Tour
G Adventures

You’ll gain a whole new appreciation for Moroccan culture and the Berber way of life after embarking on this 11-day tour through the country. Guided by your trusted Chief Experience Officer (CEO), you’ll visit incredible sites like the Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou, stay overnight in unique accommodations like a traditional mountain gîte, and hit the coast with surf lessons of the beaches of Taghazout.

What's Included

Your Local Living Moment: Mountain Gîte Stay with Traditional Moroccan Meal, Aroumd
Your Discover Moment: Marrakech
Your Big Night Out Moment: Marrakech. Local village farmland walk in Todra Gorge. Camel ride in the Desert. Traditional dinner and drums under the stars. Visit to Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah. Hike in the Atlas Mountains. Home cooked meal in a Mountain gîte. Swimming in rock pools and exploring waterfalls in Paradise Valley. Surf lesson in Taghazout. Sunset beach bonfire. Essaouira orientation walk. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Stay overnight between cliff walls of Todra Gorge, Venture on a camel ride through sand dunes, Explore the kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, Hike around the magnificent High Atlas Mountain, Go surfing in Taghazout, Wander around the coastal city of Essaouira

Important Notes

1. Camel ride
Please note that it is not possible to reach the sand dunes by 4WD or any other vehicle. There is the option to walk (can be very hot and tiring) for those who cannot/prefer not to ride a camel.

2. Weather
Please note that the climate in Morocco can be both very hot during the day in summer months (up to 50°C) and cold at night in the mountains in autumn, early spring and winter (down to -6°C). Summer months, from April to September are very hot throughout Morocco. Winter months November to March can be cool to cold, especially in the Atlas Mountains, with high probability of snowfall. Most Moroccan buildings are not equipped with heating, so without proper layers you will be cold at night. Please bring appropriate clothing for the months in which you are travelling and check temperatures before you leave.

3. Ramadan
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 5th and June 4th, 2019. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can’t at that time.

4. Combo Trip
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO).

As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of Morocco, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

We also use certified local city guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 14, avg 10.

Meals Included

10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners

Transport

Private air-con van, public bus.

About our Transportation

Please note that there is a lot of fast paced travel on this itinerary which necessitates some long travel days in our mini van. We feel that if you enter this trip with this knowledge and expectation, you will appreciate even more the variety of locations we are able to include in this itinerary.

We use a 16-seater minivan and with a full group every seat will be used. The legroom in the minivan is possibly smaller than you may be used to and taller passengers may find space a little cramped. It is important to be aware that as it is not a legal requirement in buses in Morocco, your vehicle may not be equipped with seat belts. The minivans have air conditioning, however please note that summer temperatures in Morocco can easily reach 50 celsius. When the outside temperature is so hot, a minibus air conditioning system will not be able to cool the bus to the temperatures you are used to enjoying at home. Please bear in mind that travelling in Morocco in summer will inevitably involve very hot temperatures and some discomfort may be experienced when travelling.

Accommodation

Hotels (7 nts), mountain gîte (1 nt, multi-share), surf house (2 nts)

About Accommodation

On this trip you can expect to stay in local hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. Where a town has both an ancient medina and a “ville nouvelle” we generally stay in the ville nouvelle, both because the standard of hotels is higher, and because travellers (especially women) often find the medinas at night a little confronting.

Please note that Morocco is a developing country and as such the infrastructure is not as reliable as you would expect at home. Expect quirky plumbing and the odd cold shower!

Please be advised that some of the accommodation for this tour will have shared bathroom facilities.

Joining Instructions

Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.

If you are taking a taxi, upon exiting the main terminal, walk straight ahead into the main car park where you will see the taxi stand with many taxis all queued and waiting. Although the Hotel Amalou is approximately a 20 minute drive from the airport, haggling is encouraged to attempt to get the lowest price.

If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, please look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign outside of the terminal hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way!

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local G Adventures Morocco operator. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Morocco)
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +212 (0)528 824898
After hours emergency number: +212 (0) 661 861950

If you are unable to contact either of these numbers please phone G Adventures Regional Operations Manager Emergency Cell Phone:  +212 06 13 54 20 21

If you are unable for any reason to contact these numbers, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Outside North America, Australia and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

Packing List

Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Visas and Entry Requirements

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity).

To date, citizens of the UK, EU, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not need visas for visits of up to three-months.
Other nationalities may need to organise a visa pre travel- please check the individual requirements of your passport nationality.

Please note this information is given in good faith, is beyond G Adventures’s control and subject to change at any time.

Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is the individual’s responsibility to ensure that travel documentation is correct.

Optional Activities

Ait Benhaddou
- Tagine Cooking Demonstration (120MAD per person)

Merzouga
- Merzouga 4×4 Desert Excursion

Marrakech
- Djemaa el Fna Market Square Visit (Free)
- Musée de Marrakech (50MAD per person)
- El Badi Palace (70MAD per person)
- Jardins Majorelle (70-100MAD per person)
- Dar Si Said (30MAD per person)
- Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos
- Berber Villages Visit

Paradise Valley
- Swimming in Paradise Valley

Taghazout
- Yoga
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Essaouira
- Windsurfing (60EUR per person)
- Shopping

Jericoacoara
- Kite Surfing Lesson (550BRL per person)

Essaouira
- Traditional Hammam Experience

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

PRODUCT_LINE: DCKM, ID: 25023

Itinerary

Day 1: Marrakech

Arrive at any time. Meet your group for the welcome meeting. Afterwards, head out for a night on the town.

Additional Notes:
On arrival, check the notice board (or ask reception) for the exact time and location of the group meeting. Afterwards, there will be the possibility to go out for a meal as a group in a nearby local restaurant. If you arrive late, no worries, your leader will leave you a message at the front desk.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Marrakech/Todra Gorge (1B)

Make the first stop of the day at Tineghir to visit the town and go for a walk through the palm groves. Then head to the breathtaking Todra Gorge to spend the night nestled between the sheer cliff walls among the palm trees and gurgling river. This serene spot is great for hiking, relaxing on the edge of the river or sampling some local Berber delicacies.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours)

Day 3: Todra Gorge/Merzouga (1B, 1D)

Settle into your hotel at the edge of the dunes and enjoy a warm welcome with mint tea. In the late afternoon, take a camel ride deep into the dunes to watch the sunset. Learn to tie a turban to keep the desert sun off your face and add a little flare to photos.

In the evening, gather around a campfire near to your hotel to indulge in a traditional dinner under the stars. Listen to stories about life in this region and, perhaps, some traditional music on the drums.

Included Activities:
Camel Ride

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))

Day 4: Merzouga/Ait Benhaddou (1B)

Rise early to watch the sunrise. Depart early and travel along the Route of 1000 Kasbahs to Ait Ben Haddou, one of the most fascinating and beautiful kasbahs renowned UNESCO world heritage site.

Included Activities:
Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))

Day 5: Ait Benhaddou/Aroumd (1B, 1D)

Travel through the magnificent High Atlas Mountain landscape, crossing the Tizi n’Tichka pass at 2260m. Head into the splendid Toubkal National Park, passing through small villages on winding mountain roads, arriving at the village of Imlil.

With our main luggage transported by mule, embark on the hike from Imlil to the little village of Aroumd (1 hr), arriving at our simple mountain gîte for the night.

Enjoy a homemade dinner of local produce in the cozy salon. Settle in and enjoy the tranquility, fantastic views, and clean mountain air of this magical region.

Additional Notes:
Accommodation is multi-share, up to six beds in each room. Bedding is provided, but you will need to bring a sleeping bag for additional warmth if travelling between November and April. You will also need to bring your own towel. Bathroom facilities are shared.

Included Activities:
Mountain Gîte Stay with Traditional Moroccan Meal

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s), 225km)
Hiking (1.00 hour(s))

Day 6: Aroumd/Marrakech (1B)

Journey to Marrakech. After arriving in the “Red City,”opt to discover the secrets of this amazing, ancient city. Relax at one of the tea houses around the square, watching the hustle and bustle from a shady spot. Opt to visit Musée de Marrakech, explore the ruins of El Badi Palace or wander through Jardins Majorelle.

End the day like a local with an optional group dinner in the famous food stalls of Djemaa el Fna.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.75 hour(s), 70km)
Hiking (1.00 hour(s))

Day 7: Marrakech (1B)

A great place to start is Djemaa el Fna square, in the heart of the medina. The square changes its offerings throughout the day. Do some souvenir shopping or wander the new part of the city for a taste of the modern.

Included Activities:
Big Night Out

Day 8: Marrakech/Taghazout (1B, 1D)

Head to Paradise valley to swim in rock pools and explore waterfalls. Opt for a guided hike or visit to the village of Izourki Oufella, a region that is known for its refined honey and argan oil. Continue to Taghazout.

Included Activities:
Paradise Valley Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00-3.50 hours, 245km)
Private Vehicle

Day 9: Taghazout (1B, 1L, 1D)

In the morning enjoy a surf lesson before hitting the waves. Free afternoon to continue surfing, or opt for some stand up paddle boarding, hiking or yoga. In the evening, join the the group for a sunset bonfire on the beach.

Included Activities:
Surf Lesson
Sunset Beach Bonfire

Day 10: Taghazout/Essaouira (1B)

Head to Essaouira and enjoy an orientation walk followed by free time to explore this coastal city. Want to soothe aching muscles? Pre-book the Traditional Hammam Experience on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour.

Included Activities:
Essaouira Orientation Walk

Day 11: Essaouira/Marrakech (1B)

Leave the coast behind and return to Marrakech. Trip ends on arrival.

Additional Notes:
This tour will end upon arrival in Marrakech at approximately 12pm. We suggest booking any onward travel after 4pm.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 190km)

Interested in Morocco Deserts & Beaches?

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